- Kirsten Ballard
This summer, Margot Harris joins the public policy team as an intern. She is attending Columbia University, pursuing an MFA in Creative Nonfiction, she attended undergrad at Brown University with a degree in Sociology. Learn about her summer plans, future goals and interest in news media.
What brought you to the Alliance and what do you hope to learn this summer?
I came to the Alliance because, as someone interested in pursuing a career in journalism, I’m concerned with and fascinated by the way news and publishers are increasingly at the whim of the duopoly that is Facebook and Google. I hope to learn more about the policies shaping this relationship, and I hope to witness the creation of solutions to the online platform monopoly.
Why are you interested in the news media industry?
News media is an essential public good – it is critical to promoting an informed society and plays an important watchdog role. It also has the ability to reflect our value systems and connect us. I grew up valuing the service it provides – developing my opinions and values based on objective and informed stories ‑ and I’ve always wanted to be a part of it.
What do you want to do with your career?
I hope to use my creative nonfiction writing background to edge my way into the journalism field. I hope to profile changemakers and explore the intersection of people and policy.
Where do you see the future of news going?
The future of news is more up in the air than ever before, in my opinion. Publishers are increasingly beholden to algorithms. I hope to see publishers, with the help of anti-trust enforcement, break free of their dependence on certain online platforms for distribution — such that we can focus on independent, local and diverse journalism.
Describe your daily news media habits
I am a loyal subscriber to TheSkimm, and I increasingly rely on Axios AM and Politico for policy updates. I’ve proudly read The Washington Post since I was 11 [years old] (perhaps I needed more kid hobbies growing up..?) I’m also a morning Twitter scroller to get a fair dose of outrage to start the day.